Eagle Butte Mine
Coal mines north and east of Gillette–Campbell County Airport, including the Eagle Butte Mine
|Company||Alpha Natural Resources|
|Year of acquisition||2009|
The Eagle Butte mine is a coal mine located 7 miles (11 km) north of Gillette, Wyoming in the United States in the coal-rich Powder River Basin. The mine is an open pit, "truck and shovel", mine producing a low-sulfur, sub-bituminous coal from the Roland and Smith seams that is used for domestic energy generation. Coal produced by the mine is shipped to its customers via railroad. The mine is currently owned and operated by Alpha Natural Resources after being acquired in a merger with Foundation Coal in 2009.
As of 2009, Eagle Butte had reserves of 471,000,000 short tons (427,000,000 t) of sub-bituminous coal and a maximum permitted production capacity of 35,000,000 short tons (32,000,000 t) per year. Typical annual production has been in 20-25 million ton range for the last several years though. The average quality of the coal shipped from Eagle Butte is 8,400 BTU/lb, 0.34% Sulfur, 4.50% Ash, and 1.90% Sodium (of the ash). Train loading operations at the mine are done with a batch weigh bin system that is coupled to a "weigh-in-motion" track scale system. Silo capacity at the mine's rail loop, which can accommodate up to 5 unit trains, is 48,000 tons. In 2008, the mine produced just over 20,500,000 short tons (18,600,000 t) of coal, making it the 9th-largest producer of coal in the United States.
The Eagle Butte Mine shipped its first train of coal in 1978 after beginning pre-production work in 1976. Since mining operations began, the mine has shipped over 521,000,000 short tons (473,000,000 t) of coal to its customers. Eagle Butte mine has changed hands many times through mergers and sales. Previous owners include AMAX, Cyprus AMAX, RAG and Foundation Coal.
In 2005, the Eagle Butte mine was awarded two awards from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality for Excellence in Surface Mining Reclamation and Innovation. Eagle Butte was selected to receive these awards because of the superior quality of shrub patches that the mine had established on its reclamation.
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